7.2/10
7,586
84 user 59 critic

Mostly Martha (2001)

Bella Martha (original title)
When a headstrong chef takes charge of her equally stubborn 8-year-old niece, the tensions between them mount... until an Italian sous-chef arrives to lighten the mood.

Director:

Sandra Nettelbeck
14 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martina Gedeck ... Martha Klein
Maxime Foerste Maxime Foerste ... Lina Klein (Martha's niece)
Sergio Castellitto ... Mario
August Zirner ... Martha's Therapist
Sibylle Canonica ... Frida
Katja Studt ... Lea
Antonio Wannek ... Carlos
Idil Üner Idil Üner ... Bernadette
Oliver Broumis ... Jan
Ulrich Thomsen ... Sam Thalberg
Gerhard Garbers Gerhard Garbers ... Herr Steinberg
Angela Schmidt Angela Schmidt ... Frau Steinberg
Diego Ribon Diego Ribon ... Giuseppe Lorenzo
W.D. Sprenger W.D. Sprenger ... Noisy customer
Victoria Trauttmansdorff Victoria Trauttmansdorff ... Companion (as Victoria von Trautmannsdorf)
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Storyline

In a German restaurant, Chef Martha Klein is the undisputed supreme ruler of the kitchen staff and woe to any customer who would dare criticize her cooking. Her life is firmly centered around cooking which takes on a obsessive level with stubborn single mindedness. Even when she is ordered to take therapy, she still constantly talks about her work and the iron clad control she relishes in her task. All that changes when her sister dies in a car accident, leaving her 8 year old daughter, Lina. Martha takes her niece in and while making inquiries for her estranged father, she struggles to care for this stubbornly headstrong child. Meanwhile at work, a new chef named Mario is hired on and Martha feels threatened by this unorthodox intruder. The pressures of both her private and work life combine to create a situation that will fundamentally call her attitudes and life choices into question while these interlopers into her life begin to profoundly change it. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In Martha's enchanted kitchen, more than the food is starting to simmer. With some special ingredients they just might discover a recipe for passion. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | Italy | Austria | Switzerland

Language:

German | Italian

Release Date:

27 September 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mostly Martha See more »

Filming Locations:

Hamburg, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$40,446, 18 August 2002

Gross USA:

$4,160,475

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,852,022
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sergio Castellitto's German wasn't good enough so Frank Glaubrecht was brought in to dub his voice for the German version. See more »

Goofs

When Mario and Lina get ready to cook dinner at Martha's apartment, Lina puts on her apron twice. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Martha Klein: Then it must be the sugar.
Martha's Therapist: The sugar?
Martha Klein: Did you get the Belgian vergeoise like I told you?
Martha's Therapist: Are you telling me that you can taste what kind of sugar I've used?
Martha Klein: Of course not, but I can taste which kind you didn't use.
Martha's Therapist: [she smiles softly as he leaves] I give up. I'll be right back.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinema Goes to Dinner (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Let's Do It In A-Flat
Written by Steve Reich
Performed by M. Segal, Steve Reich (as S. Reich), J. Gunkel (possibly Johannes Gunkel , M. Fonfara (possibly Michael Fonfara)
See more »

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User Reviews

Home Cooking
9 January 2004 | by writers_reignSee all my reviews

It's almost as if Nettelbeck had been given a recipe for a perfect film - start with the tried-and-tested, take a character living alone, set in his/her ways then saddle him/her with a young kid and simmer the love-hate on a low flame; add a culture clash and vamp til ready -and discarded it in favor of her own ingredients. The culinery metaphor is self-explanatory but it IS fun to see the heavy, lard-based German cuisine slugging it out with the lighter, oil-based Italian style. Up front we have two cold teutonic hearts, aunt and neice and with the introduction of the Italian extrovert chef we know it is only a matter of time til the warm Italian sun thaws the cold aryan hearts. That's pretty much what happens but it is a DELIGHT to go along for the ride and surrender your emotional taste-buds to Nettelbeck's expertise for the entire running time. I've just seen this movie for the second time in about 8 months and I was just as captivated this time around. 9/10


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